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420 with CNW — With More MSOs Joining Recreational Marijuana Campaign in Florida, Funding Now Exceeds $55 Million

Florida is witnessing a surge in momentum as it gears up for what is anticipated to be the costliest recreational cannabis legalization campaign in American history. Led by Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), based in Tallahassee, the campaign is attracting support from six other multistate cannabis operators (MOS), marking a significant expansion in the effort to transition Florida’s thriving $2 billion medical cannabis market, currently the largest in the nation, into one that caters to recreational use too.

The latest supporters joining forces with Trulieve include prominent players in the cannabis industry such as Ayr Wellness, Cresco Labs, Curaleaf Holdings, Green Thumb Industries, Insa and Verano Holdings.

The committee behind the initiative — Smart and Safe Florida — announced a substantial boost to its funding, with an additional $15 million raised. With the new support, the campaign currently has a total of approximately $55 million in funding. Trulieve alone had already raised and spent more than $40 million by the end of last year.

For perspective, backers of Ohio’s initiative, Issue 2, spent less than $7 million, while California’s Proposition 64, a victorious recreational use legislation, saw expenditures reach $25 million in 2016.

The recent endorsement from major marijuana businesses comes on the heels of a significant legal victory at the state’s Supreme Court, where a constitutional challenge mounted by Ashley Moody, the state attorney general, was dismissed. The decision paves the way for the initiative to proceed, providing a boost to the campaign’s momentum.

Should the initiative, called Amendment 3, be adopted by 60% of state voters in the November elections, it would permit currently operating medical cannabis treatment centers to begin selling recreational marijuana by May 2025. Additionally, it seeks to allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to three ounces while maintaining the prohibition on home cultivation, consistent with existing state laws.

However, the measure does not include a social equity scheme, and the state legislature would still need to take action to expand licenses beyond the current operators. Presently, the state hosts 627 dispensaries operated by 25 firms, with regulators indicating the possibility of issuing permits to 22 more by summer, albeit at a notably high license renewal fee of $1.33 million.

Florida’s market potential is enormous given its 22 million citizens, 859,000-plus registered medical marijuana patients and millions of tourists each year. Estimates suggest that the state’s $2 billion in yearly medical cannabis sales might double.

Even though a recent poll shows significant voter support for recreational cannabis (62%), it is expected that more funding would be needed to organize a successful statewide campaign. On top of Trulieve’s $40 million investment, estimates indicate that total campaign expenses including media buys and operational costs may total between $20 million and $25 million.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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